E commerce during lockdown

While it is a no-brainer that coronavirus outbreak has disrupted almost all industries, for consumers, it has come to a relief that despite the nationwide lockdown, we are never out of options even when we are in dire need of household items and groceries, thanks to the availability of online delivery services. Among the companies that have been on full swing is Amazon, which in fact, has seen a major upscale in its revenues when other big corporations have been facing shortcomings.

While the e-commerce giant has been fulfilling the essential as well as non-essential items’ demands of its consumers, this seemed to be posing a big threat to the small Indian traders. In the light of this concern, the government has recently announced a new and revised guideline that refrains e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart from delivering non-essential items during this lockdown period. While this may have disappointed these multinational firms, it sure has come as good tidings for domestic players. Commenting on it, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) “lauded PM Modi and HM Amit Shah for the most pragmatic decision” of “valuing the sentiments of Indian traders and protecting their business interests”.

With that said, while multinational ecommerce companies have been prohibited from delivering non-essential items and if the recent move by the government was intended to boost the local players, what else can be done further? According the Retailers Association of India (RAI), all types of retailers – be it local stores or large retailers, should be allowed to deliver items online so that not only will consumers’ needs be fulfilled, it will uplift the MSME sector as well that contributes significantly to the country’s economy.

With multinational ecommerce sites rolling out attractive deals and discounts every now and then, thus luring the customers, small Indian businesses have been greatly impacted. “Even in the lockdown period, they would have adopted their vitiated business model and promote all kinds of malpractices to damage the foundation of Indian retail,” CAIT said in a statement.


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